Dateline: Gaza Strip—Two zebras at Gaza’s city zoo died of hunger earlier this year when they were neglected during a flare-up in the Israel-Hamas conflict, but they’ve finally been replaced—by a pair of painted donkeys. New zebras would have cost the zoo $40,000 apiece, so zookeepers simply used masking tape and women’s hair dye to paint stripes on two female donkeys. Zoo officials said the high cost of the animals was due largely to import restrictions placed by the Israelis. In addition to the two “zebras,” the zoo boasts an aging tiger, two monkeys, and an assortment of birds, rabbits and cats.
Dateline: Tennessee—A Hendersonville woman was thrown in jail for something she did on the Internet, answering the age-old question “Does a Facebook poke actually count as contact?” Apparently it does. For most Facebook users, the poke remains a useless application. Click on the “poke” button, and someone will be informed that they’ve been “poked” the next time they log on to Facebook. Unfortunately, by clicking on the button, 36-year-old Shannon D. Jackson violated the terms of an order of protection, which said she was to engage in “no telephoning, contacting or otherwise communicating with the petitioner.” Hendersonville Police made screenshots of the poke as evidence. Jackson will appear in Sumner County General Sessions Court in Gallatin later this month. She faces up to 11 months and 29 days in jail, as well as a possible fine of up to $2,500.
Dateline: Wisconsin—Julia E. Laack, 36, of Sheboygan thought she could get out of shoplifting charges by stripping for police. Unfortunately, the act only got her more charges. It all started on the afternoon of Thursday, Oct. 8, when Laack was accused of stealing a lighter and some beef jerky from a convenience store. According to the police report, officers went to Laack’s home, but she refused to come to the door and began swearing at three children in her house, telling one of them that the incident was all his fault. When police finally entered the home, Laack allegedly stripped off her clothes, in full view of the children, telling officers that they couldn’t arrest her if she was naked. Obviously that isn’t true, since officers arrested the unclothed woman anyway. According to the report, Laack struggled with the officers as they tried to arrest her, spitting in one’s mouth and kicking the other in the groin. After she was placed in a squad car, she pressed her buttocks against the window and “mooned” officers. The misdemeanor shoplifting charge the cops were investigating would have landed Laack a ticket. The new charges—including felony battery on a police officer, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct—could cost Laack five years in prison. Unsurprisingly, the Sheboygan Press reported that Laack’s blood-alcohol content was .112 at the time of her arrest. Wisconsin’s legal limit is .08.
Dateline: California—A Lake Elsinore man was hospitalized after blowing most of his hand off, while his mother and brother were jailed after bomb-making material and a marijuana-growing operation were discovered in the family home—which also doubles as a day care center. According to the Press-Enterprise, 23-year-old Benjamin Kuzelka was treated at Loma Linda University Medical Center after blowing three of his fingers off and suffering injuries to his face and chest. Kuzelka initially reported that he had shot himself but later admitted to Riverside County sheriff's deputies that he had been in his garage handling an unstable liquid he had manufactured when it exploded. Kuzelka said he researched bomb-making on the Internet and claimed he was just doing it “for fun.” After Kuzelka admitted to playing with fire, officers searched the family home. “We found one of his fingers in the garage,” Sgt. Pat Chavez told the Press-Enterprise. Court records show that Benjamin Kuzelka was convicted following a 2007 arrest for transporting marijuana for sale and possession of a controlled substance. He was also convicted this year of possession of a controlled substance. His brother, 21-year-old Grey Kuzelka, was arrested two weeks ago on suspicion of possession of marijuana for sale and was released the next day. The boys’ mother, 55-year-old Rebecca Kuzelka, currently operates the Kuzelka Family Day Care center out of the home. Mrs. Kuzelka’s permit allows for up to eight children between the ages of 2 and 5. Mrs. Kuzelka said she knew nothing about the bomb-making materials in the garage, nor the sophisticated marijuana-growing facility police uncovered in another room of her house / day care. “It would be hard not to notice that room,” Chavez told the newspaper. All three members of the family have been arrested and charged with manufacturing of explosives, marijuana growing and felony child endangerment.